Guest Column: The Restless Employee: What to look for when you are looking for a new job: Gaurav Hirey
“If you have a unique skill and a right attitude there will be someone out there who is willing to pay the “right” amount for the “right” job,” says Gaurav Hirey, Chief Talent Officer, South Asia, GroupM Media
It’s a world of opportunities especially in India and more so in the media and advertising industry. With the recent boom in business there is an increase in the number of opportunities and the ever-restless employee is making the most of it. Recent research shows that 82% of employees are open to speaking to a headhunter on possible openings! A survey in the last year also confirms that at any given point of time 55% of the employee population is on a look out for their next role. Another study found that the Indian employee is the most mobile employee in the world and is willing to relocate for a “right” price and the “right” job.
Clearly it is an employee market out there and as engagement levels of employees fall by the day, organizations are struggling to find the “right” talent to ensure it is business as usual. This in turn is adding fuel to the market that is already on fire and is leading to a slew of more job opportunities causing great delight to the restless India employee!
The search for the “right” candidate is driving organizations crazy and headhunters are in a tizzy at the increasing demands. The media and advertising industry is experiencing rapid growth and the search for the "right" candidate is giving many a sleepless night. These are the most exciting times to be in the media and advertising industry. And all this is really good! Right? Yes! it means that if YOU have a unique skill and a right attitude there will be someone out there who is willing to pay the “right” amount for the “right” job.
While most of us employees would be feeling great about the environment and the opportunities it provides, the other side of this is that some of us may end up making hasty decisions and take up a wrong role or job that may potentially derail our careers! So the question arises what are the things to look for when you are looking for that next role of yours?
1. Be clear about your top priorities:
The starting point always is to know what you are looking for, and that is easier said than done. But really do you know what it is that will make you happy? Is it more money, bigger team, better role or just a bigger brand. Be clear of at least your top two priorities that you would be looking for in your new job. Always remember you will not get everything in a job. There would be compromises that you will have to make, so walk in with your eyes open. If it is a better salary then the role may not be the one you are looking for, if the role is great then the team may not be perfect. All new jobs will have their challenges but as long as you are clear about your priorities and if they are being met, you should then be able to survive before you thrive.
2. Have a career conversation with your current organization:
A lot of times employees leave a perfectly great job and end up in a new job that they then love to hate. If your current role is not meeting your needs and they are needs you cannot compromise on then you must talk to someone in your organization. Have a chat either with your Manager or the HR team or someone in the senior leadership team and share your priorities with them.
From my experience, a lot of times just having an open conversation with someone who has a stake in your future at work goes a long way. Changing a perfectly great job for some more money or a better-looking designation is possible the worst thing you can do to yourself and your career.
3. Choose your manager
It is a known fact that most people leave managers and not companies. In your new role one of the most important stakeholders is your immediate manager! Choose your supervisor and don’t just choose the role. Remember while they are evaluating you for the role you have the right to evaluate them specially the manager who is going to be responsible for your happiness and growth at work.
So make the effort to know more about your immediate manager. This is going to be critical to you since you will end up spending most of your waking hours working with them. Speak to your friends in the organization, seek feedback on portals like Glassdoor or other social media and if possible even try and spend a half day at the office just to get a sense of the organization. We are talking about you, your career and your happiness. Don’t compromise and choose your manager carefully!
4. Never take up a job on a rebound
Fact is that there are times when you just want to quit and you take up the first offer that comes your way. While we all understand there would be compelling reasons do to this, hold yourself back. The worst you can do is to take up a job on a rebound! Just like your personal relationships this is not the best way to deal with your career.
Wait for the feeling to throw in your resignation and walk away to subside, go back to the drawing board re-evaluate your position and then devise a plan. When you are highly emotional about leaving your current job it could blind you and you may not see the potholes in the new assignment. Decide on a timeline and go on a hunt. Don’t react to the situation respond to it. Absolutely do steps 1-3 and then take the call.
5. When in doubt go without
And then the moment comes when you have what you think you have been looking for, the “perfect” job with that great salary and yet something is missing. There lingers a doubt if this is it? Like a very good friend of mine says, “When in doubt, go without!” I think this is the best way to approach this situation. If you are not in the towards state and excited beyond any doubts about your new job then step back and if you cannot lay your finger on what is bothering you then maybe it is not for you. It is important here to distinguish general anxiety of a new adventure and the feeling that something is missing!
If you do decide to say no then don’t say no, just a day before your joining date. Let your new employer know about it and be clearabout it. No new employer wants you to join them and leave again in a couple of months so if you are not sure. While they may definitely not like it, they will eventually come to respect it if they are informed upfront.
The author is Chief Talent Officer, South Asia, GroupM Media.
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